‘Most Beautiful and Ballestic Player’: Billie Jean King in Awe of Roger Federer

Published 12/28/2021, 6:30 AM EST
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 31, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his first round match against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Roger Federer is a name that simply needs no introduction. Not only is he one of the most famous names in the tennis world, but also across the entire world.


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The Swiss Maestro is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time. In fact, many consider his movements on the court and the ease with which he plays, to be the reason that he has always been such a joy to watch.

Federer’s biography, titled ‘The Long Run and Beautiful Game of Roger Federer’, covers his movements at length.


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Billie Jean King talked about the elegance of Roger Federer

Christopher Clarey, the author of the biography, described how Federer’s game was similar to that of a ballerina. According to Clarey, who had covered tennis for three decades, Federer did something when hitting the ball that nobody else did.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2021. Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his third-round match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Clarey described how Federer tends to look at the contact point on the ball while hitting. In fact, his eyes stay on the point for a lot longer than anybody else he ever saw in his lifetime. “That ability to finish, truly finish, the stroke,” per Clarey, is what makes Roger Federer so magnetic to watch.

He likens him to Michael Jordan, and his tendency to seem to float in the air for a second longer than the rest. Then, Clarey shares what 39-time Grand Slam champion and founder of the WTA Billie Jean King had to say about Federer’s motions. “He is the most beautiful and balletic player I’ve ever seen,” Billie had said.

In fact, King even explained why and how Federer’s shots were so elegant. “His kinetic chain stays very connected. That’s where the elegance comes from,” she explained.


Clearly, the founder of the WTA and one of the greatest women in tennis isn’t above being mesmerized by Federer’s game, either!


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Former Gold Medalist praises Federer’s mental prowess

2019 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Nine. Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals match on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the 2019 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3rd, 2019 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Clarey shared another excerpt in his book from former Gold Medallist and fellow Swiss player Marc Rosset. According to Rosset, when Federer and him trained together, he used to be in awe of Federer’s ‘processing power’.



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An exercise required the players to catch five different balls in the air in a particular order as it was called out. Rosset admitted to only ever getting to four balls. However, Roger always caught the five balls perfectly in order with ease.

Circling back to how relaxed Federer remains while hitting, Rosset likened him to footballing greats Zinedine Zidane and Diego Maradona. “These great champions are a fraction of a second ahead of everybody else, and that allows them to be more relaxed,” Rosset explained.


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Roger Federer, who had his knee operated on this year, is still recovering, and his comeback to professional tennis has not been revealed or decided yet.

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Samarveer Singh

257 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.